Recommended guide/driver in Sri Lanka?

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Twitter follower @thebrockboys is travelling to Sri Lanka for two weeks next summer and want to explore with a guide or driver. They’re in a group of four people – two Canadian couples – and want to know if you can recommend a good tour guide or driver for their trip?

Please share as much of your Sri Lanka knowledge as you can and pass on the good travel karma :D

Thanks!

Lottie Gross 16/09/13    Getting aroundSri Lanka Link Report

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10 Replies Date Popularity

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Hi @thebrockboys. Gavin Thomas, author of Rough Guide to Sri Lanka here. Try Nimal de Silva (www.dsltours.com). He took me around during my last two visits to the island and is absolutely brilliant driver, guide, and travel companion.

Gavin Thomas 17/09/13    Link Report

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We hired a driver for four days to take us from Colombo – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (by train) – Ella – Tissamahara. I’m really glad we did for this portion of our trip and, as well as being understanding re us not wanting to stop at everywhere he suggested, he also took us to some great spots we never would have found on our own.

We used the Rough Guide for our trip and as recommended in it, Blue Haven Tours based in Kandy: http://bluehaventours.com/index.html Our driver was Manjula, nice guy, good driver and it was relatively cheap.

Have a great time!

Kirsten 18/09/13    Link Report

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Hi

I have been travelling to Sri lanka for the last 15 years and would thoroughly recommend KD Travels and tours. They were absolutely fantastic value for money. ask for Ranjith as he knows the island like the back of his hand.
They are reliable and safe drivers which is sooo important when driving in Sri Lanka.
You can check them out of Facebook or alternatively contact them on [email protected]

Ruvini 18/09/13    Link Report

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Justinefox 25/09/13    Link Report

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Hi there,

I totally agree with the comment from JF above.
The best possible way to find a guide is by checking his background using google.

Yes I once travelled with Menaka and he had a wide knowledge about Sri Lanka.

Regards

Alex

Alex_Rb 26/09/13    Link Report

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Thank you for the advice about Nimal de Silva of Destination Sri Lanka. We have just returned from a two week holiday which we organised with him. He was excellent in every respect. Very reliable, very attentive to detail, thoroughly professional and charming. We would thoroughly recommend him.

billph 20/04/14    Link Report

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Hi,

I can highly recommend our tour guide, whos name is Sudath Gunaratne. He has 20 years experience and what is more, he has reasonable prices, he is always friendly, he wants to show you everything, he is taking care about the clients and his english is good. I have contacted at least 20 agency, but he was the one who acepted every our demand and the many changes what we wanted to make in the program. He gived us many presents, once he gived me also a bottle of brandy for the night. I can highly recommend him. email: [email protected], tel: 0094722802631

giorgio555 07/07/14    Link Report

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Hi! I am from Belgium but I have lived in Sri Lanka for several years. I traveled around a lot but I have noticed, because I can understand the sinhala language now, that many drivers search commission for every activity you do. I don’t like that. My driver he doesn’t do that. So I can contact him if you want to have a relaxed and fair paid holiday!! [email protected]

heidi-bogaerts 09/07/14    Link Report

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Hi

We having memorable experience in Sri lanka with Assistance of mr karnal de silva who was our driver/ guide during the stay , he organized all our accommodations on very very reasonable rate . Karnal is approved tour guide of sri lanka tourism authority .

If any one need his contact info : [email protected]

Have a nice trip ….

Henri 27/07/14    Link Report

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If you are looking for a driver with a good karme and a big smile I adviced you to take contact with Deesa from the kingfisher driving tours. He goes for high quality driving (new car) and lots of help.
He drives people around in his beautifull island. And he does more then driving alone. He also coach you to see nice places, find good restaurants and hotels. He always lissen to the needs of his clients and try to help them to arrange a flexibel tour. He care about your safety and he help you in the communication between you and the local people. By giving good advice you can safe money.
You can email him by [email protected] You can see pictures on facebook website kingfisher driving tours.
His telephone nr is 0094.77.98.67.380

katia-de-coussemaker 08/08/14    Link Report

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Sri Lanka, “The Pearl in Indian Ocean”…..
You’ll see everywhere in Sri Lanka is green. There’re lots of waterfalls, trees, mountains, fantastic beaches, friendly people, wild life, flora and fauna. Yes, you can now see how beautiful country Sri Lanka is. When people ask about Sri Lanka, people used to explain about it as “The Paradise” or as “The Pearl of Indian Ocean”.

But, some times back, when there was the long dragged civil war, people were shaky to visit Sri Lanka. Now things have been changed, the terrorism & the war is completely over. Nothing to be afraid of in Sri Lanka. Just one nation united under the one flag with Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims. Sri Lanka is one of the finest and safest places to visit on the earth. Travel everywhere with Indigo Ocean.

Tour Srilanka 30/08/14    Link Report

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Hi everyone,

I have just returned from a 2-week trip to Sri Lanka ( I was there with my wife and a friend of us).
I would like to share my excellent experience with a driver which was recommended to us from the Shalimar hotel manager.
Upon arrival we were unsure whether to hire a car with driver or try to use busses and trains. We finally opted for the first option.
We agreed to pay 600 USD for 11 days/10 nights for a comfortable Toyota with AC and driver, unlimited mileage from Colombo to Polonnaruwa, then Sigiriya, then Tea county, Southern beaches etc.
We were a little worried about being bound to the driver we were assigned: what if we did not like him? What if he were one of those guys (common in Sri Lanka) who wish to talk and talk without however possessing even basic English communication skills? What if (as I had experienced in India) his only concern was to get commissions for every activity we might want to do?
The first thing that reassured us was that no advance cash payment was required: I agreed with the hotel manager to pay 300 USD on the 5th day and the remaining 300 on the very last day. (So I thought: in case anything went wrong I can refuse to pay).
We agreed to leave for Plonnaruwa at 8.30 the morning after. The driver was perfectly on time, smiling (I was still wary due to my experience in India) and helped us with our luggage.
The first thing I noticed was his excellent driving skills: gentle, soft, he even used direction signs, no F1-like overtaking and not too much of talking (I can say now that he had the gift of opening his mouth only to tell things we actually wanted or needed to hear, no trivial talks, no personal questions).
We reached Polonnaruwa and started our activities: he offered to buy tickets for the ruins (I triple checked every time that he was not overcharging us… and of course he wasn’t, nor he ever forced us to eat at a given restaurant as it often happens)
As we had a plan, we generally communicated him in the morning what we were going to do: he never opposed and, indeed, he suggested some extras we had not thought of such as village experience near Sigiriya).
As the days were passing I started to realize how lucky we had been.
I also found out he had had some problems in agreeing on his accommodation at certain of the hotels we had booked but he never complained nor he ever mentioned this to us.
He was also supposed to pay for his own meals, and he did: it was sometimes hard to convince him to have lunch with us as (I guess) he knew we were going to pay for him as well.
We were also happy that he gave us the opportunity to experience things you can’t do in Europe: he bought us (and actually paid for) coconut, jackfruit and fresh fruit, he took us to a turtles hatchery (I really wanted to go but the only one mentioned by lonely planet was far away, but he knew one near Mirissa).
Finally, as we were spending some days at the beach (after his last day of service) he also agreed on taking all our luggage to our hotel in Colombo (where we would spend our last night in SL).
On the last day we were actually sad to leave him. He was very happy of the experience with us while we finally realized he had turned our holiday in a dream.
In case some of you wish to contact him, his references are:
T. Samin Miskin
Mail: [email protected]
Tel: 0777493303
My contacts (in case you wish to ask me more about our experience) is Nicola Angelillo, [email protected]

nicola538 02/09/14    Link Report

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